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Zambian school joins 'Flowers for Freedom' Project

Seif El Rashidi, Salisbury Cathedral's Magna Carta Programme Manager meets Chainda School staff participating in Flowers of Freedom Project
Posted By : Marie Thomas Wednesday 29th April 2015

School children from a Primary School in Zambia are to take part in a special Commonwealth project being run by Salisbury Cathedral’s Learning and Outreach Department. 

Headmaster Dimas Musonda and class teacher, Luckson Lombe, from Chiainda Basic School in Lusaka are taking part the Flowers for Freedom project, an initiative which involves a school from each Commonwealth country nominating their favourite or most relevant flower, which will be portrayed along with information about their schools at the Cathedral’s Magna Flora Flower Festival in September,

The man behind Chainda School's recruitment is Ray Picton, deputy head of Greentrees Primary School in Bishopsdown. The two Commonwealth teachers were on an exchange visit hosted by the school when Ray Picton heard that the Cathedral’s team were looking for partner schools for across the Commonwealth and he spoke to his visitors. Kieran Johnson, a Salisbury Cathedral intern, will be managing the relationship with the Zambian School.

Ray Picton, Deputy Head of Greentrees said:

“Greentrees has a long association with Zambia and Chainda School in particular. Our relationship goes back around eleven years and I myself have been to Zambia four times. We do exchanges like this because we feel that in a shrinking world our children and our teachers should know more about children in other communities and other countries.

“I am particularly pleased that they are taking part in the Flowers for Freedom project because it is a chance to extend the kind of work we are doing as part of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms project.”

Said Sarah Rickett, Director of Learning and Outreach at the Cathedral:

“We are very excited about our Zambian colleagues joining this Magna Carta 800th Anniversary initiative because, like Ray, we feel that it is important to raise awareness of other parts of the world we perhaps don’t think about every day – and to share the values and message of Magna Carta as widely as possible”

Asked which flower best represents Zambia, Headmaster Musonda and Mr Lombe said the Rose. Explaining their choice Mr Musonda said:

“The rose is of great economic value to Zambia. As the dominant flower export, roses make up around 95 percent of the flowers traded by our country. I believe more than 12,000 people work in the industry which make it very important to us and our communities giving individuals work, status and a voice in the global community.”

Said Seif El Rashidi, Salisbury Cathedral Magna Carta Programme Manager:

“The Commonwealth is built upon the principles of Magna Carta and that is one of the reasons we wanted to ensure that it was represented in our celebrations this year. Zambia’s chosen flower will be exhibited at the Magna Flora Festival, a fitting venue given the size and importance of Zambia's flower industry.”

In all around 150 hectares are devoted to the cultivation of roses in Zambia with the primary market being Europe, in particular Holland. They are a key supplier of winter roses, when European stock is not available, and produce over 60 varieties.

Salisbury Cathedral is keen to add to the list of Commonwealth countries already taking part in the Flowers for Freedom venture and would be keen to hear from anyone who has connections with schools in the Commonwealth. For more information on Flowers of Freedom click here or contact Sarah Rickett on 01722 555180 s.rickett@salcath.co.uk